High-Risk Pregnancy

Expert, compassionate care for high-risk pregnancies. Talk to your doctor about getting a referral for a consultation with one of our maternal-fetal medicine doctors.

What Is Maternal-Fetal Medicine?

Maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) is a sub-specialty within obstetrics and gynecology that provides specialty care for women with high-risk pregnancies. A high-risk pregnancy is one that involves increased health risks for the mother, fetus, or both. Conditions that can pose a risk include high blood pressure, diabetes, or having a short cervix. Someone with a high-risk pregnancy may require extra care before, during, or after birth.

An MFM physician has an additional three years of advanced training in high-risk pregnancy management, ultrasound, and genetics. MFMs work alongside your obstetrician-gynecologist (OB-GYN) to develop an individualized pregnancy management plan that helps reduce the possibility of complications.

With Stamford Health’s specialized care by our experienced team, most high-risk pregnancies end successfully with the delivery of a healthy baby by a healthy parent.

Meet Our Doctors

Talk to your doctor about getting a referral for high-risk consultation with one of our MFM physicians.
Nisha  Vyas
Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology

(203) 276-2030

Frances F Hsieh
Maternal-Fetal Medicine

(203) 276-2030

Luciana  Vieira
Maternal-Fetal Medicine

(203) 276-2030

Ariel  Levy
Obstetrics and Gynecology

(203) 276-2030

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Risk Factors For A High-Risk Pregnancy

During the course of your pregnancy, a Stamford Health MFM will supplement – but not replace – the care of a primary OB-GYN. An MFM will work in collaboration with your OB-GYN and any other specialists that are needed. If you have any of the following risk factors, speak with your doctor about consulting with an MFM physician.


These may include diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, epilepsy, heart disease, obesity, an eating disorder, or lupus.


Women could be considered high-risk if they have experienced recurrent miscarriages, cervical insufficiency, preterm birth, preterm rupture of membranes, gestational diabetes, poor fetal growth, blood clots, or stillbirth.


Examples of complications include a short cervix, uterine fibroids, preeclampsia, bleeding, infection, or preterm labor.

Other Reasons It May Be Beneficial To See An MFM During Pregnancy Include:

  • Abnormalities of the fetus, placenta, uterus, or cervix.
  • Multiple gestation (twins, triplets, or more).
  • Pregnancy after in vitro fertilization (IVF).
  • Family history of a genetic condition, disability at birth, or childhood condition.
  • Concerns about baby’s growth, environmental, or medication exposures.
  • Behavioral health conditions, such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder.

Screening & Diagnostic Services Offered

An OB-GYN may refer you to see Stamford Health’s MFMs for further testing, including genetics evaluation or antepartum fetal testing. Your pregnancy may require additional ultrasound imaging performed by Stamford Health’s sonographers with advanced training. Additional screening and diagnostic services offered by MFMs include:



Our genetic counselors and geneticists who specialize in prenatal and fetal genetics can conduct screening and testing to look for any high-risk issues.


This ultrasound measures the thickness of the space at the back of the fetus’s neck. An elevated measurement indicates an increased risk for Down syndrome or other congenital anomalies.


A technician or doctor will insert a probe into your vagina as a way to see your uterus, ovaries, tubes, and cervix.



These ultrasounds check to see how well the baby is growing. Some women may have an ultrasound during their first trimester as well.


This noninvasive test evaluates your baby’s heart using sound waves. It is usually performed between 20 to 24 weeks of pregnancy.


At around 18 to 20 weeks of your pregnancy, an ultrasound will be performed to assess the structures of your baby such as heart, kidneys, fingers and toes, and to detect any anomalies or issues with growth.


In this procedure, the cervix is temporarily stitched closed during the second trimester to help hold a pregnancy in place and prevent a preterm birth.



The biophysical profile uses a scoring system to evaluate a fetus’s health based on the fetal heart rate, breathing movements, body movements, muscle tone, and amount of amniotic fluid.


Using an elastic belt with a sensor attached, your baby’s heart rate and movements will be tracked over a period of about 20 minutes.


High-Risk Pregnancy FAQs

  • How can maternal-fetal medicine services support a pregnancy and health of baby?
    At Stamford Health’s Women's Specialty Center, our maternal-fetal medicine services are designed to provide you and your baby with the best care possible. Our specialized team offers advanced diagnostics, monitoring, and unwavering support to ensure a healthy and safe pregnancy. We work closely with your obstetrician to create a personalized care plan, reducing the risks associated with your pregnancy and improving the well-being of both you and your baby.
  • What types of high-risk pregnancies and medical conditions are addressed through maternal-fetal medicine?
    Our maternal-fetal medicine specialists are equipped to handle a wide range of high-risk pregnancies and medical conditions. These may include maternal diabetes, hypertension, multiple pregnancies, fetal anomalies, and preterm labor, among others. Our team provides expert care for expectant mothers facing complex medical issues, ensuring you receive the necessary support and interventions to optimize your pregnancy and the health of your baby.
  • Do you need a referral from a primary health care provider to access maternal-fetal medicine services?
    Accessing our maternal-fetal medicine services is straightforward and flexible. A referral from your primary health care provider or OB-GYN is necessary. Our team is dedicated to guiding you through the process, ensuring that you receive the support and care you need throughout your high-risk pregnancy journey.
  • What can you expect during the first maternal-fetal medicine consultation or appointment?
    During your initial maternal-fetal medicine consultation, you can anticipate a comprehensive evaluation. This may include a review of your medical history, ultrasound examinations, and other diagnostic tests. We will discuss your specific concerns, create a personalized care plan, and provide expert guidance to address any questions or worries you may have about your high-risk pregnancy. Expect compassionate care and support at every step of the way.
  • If a high-risk condition is identified, what are the next steps and available interventions or treatments?
    If a high-risk condition is identified during your consultation, our maternal-fetal medicine team will work closely with you to create a personalized care plan. This plan may involve additional monitoring, consultations with other specialists, lifestyle modifications, and medical interventions as needed. Our goal is to optimize your pregnancy outcome and ensure the well-being of both you and your baby. We’ll be there to provide the expertise and support you require throughout your high-risk pregnancy journey.

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